In Contention


Tell us what you thought of ‘Straw Dogs’

Posted by · 10:51 am · September 16th, 2011

One last solicitation for thoughts today, on Rod Lurie’s “Straw Dogs” remake. I already offered my receptive opinion of the film, but I’m curious what everyone else has to say. So cut loose with your thoughts when/if you get around to it this weekend.




→ 11 Comments Tags: , | Filed in: Daily

11 responses so far

  • 1 9-16-2011 at 12:21 pm

    JuanLago said...

    I really didn’t think I was going to see this because I hadn’t seen the original, but I’ve decide to go buy the Peckinpah on blu and then go see the remake in the next week or so.

  • 2 9-16-2011 at 12:37 pm

    Justin said...

    It built up tension quite nicely but then the climax felt rushed. Maybe I didn’t get the ending but it would have been interesting to see the repercussions of the invasion.

  • 3 9-16-2011 at 1:00 pm

    Eric said...

    I found it abusive in terms of the violence; they didn’t do anything with it, other than glorify it. That’s evident in the final scene with the bear trap, but I won’t spoil what happens.

  • 4 9-16-2011 at 2:20 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Glorification of violence was always something Peckinpah was accused of. Interesting.

  • 5 9-16-2011 at 3:26 pm

    Nicolas Mancuso said...

    No entry for what we thought of “I Don’t Know How She Does it”? :P

  • 6 9-16-2011 at 9:25 pm

    Kyle T. said...

    I loved how cleverly Lurie wages war on the new religious and cultural fundamentalism, essentially saying that as a culture we have finally moved away from a fear of racial intermingling, and landed on a fear of the ‘uninformed’. And he makes you think about which side is black, and which side is white. It’s been quite some time since there was this layered of a thriller, and it was nice to be engaged. I thought he brought his very hyper-literate style to a new genre that suited him well.

  • 7 9-16-2011 at 11:23 pm

    The Other James D. said...

    You just adore everything from Rod Lurie, don’tcha? :P

    I’m a bit behind and have had a busy month, now having to play catch-up, and this will probably get pushed down the queue. But I’m intrigued by Kyle T.’s description enough to give it a go as soon as it’s on-demand.

  • 8 9-17-2011 at 1:26 pm

    Ben M. said...

    I didn’t expect it to come anywhere close to the original film which I’m a fan of, and I was right, but on its own terms I felt it was an okay genre movie. While the supporting cast was weaker, the acting was good among the main characters, and the final sequence was really tense and well-staged (with the exception of a couple of shots being too lowly lit to see properly).

    I didn’t really feel there was the moral ambiguity of the original though, and that was what made Peckinpah’s best work so special. The original really focused on the martial discord and the wife’s strong attraction to the old boyfriend (whereas here she seemed fully committed to her husband). I can understand that Laurie didn’t want the controversy of the wife enjoying the rape at one point as was done in the original, but losing the entire subplot of the marriage falling apart was the wrong choice IMO.

    And Peckinpah both made the violence exciting but also disturbing as you felt the human toll that was being taken and how the characters were changed forever. Here it just seemed to be played for thrills (the audience I saw it with cheered a lot of the deaths for instance).

  • 9 9-18-2011 at 9:57 pm

    John said...

    The original is a classic, and on the cinephile “film” scale, I’m sure it beats the remake. Heaven knows, there’s a lot wrong with this movie. Primarily, it’s a Hollywood version of the Deep South. Yeah, maybe they shot it in the South, but I’m not sure that Rod gets the Deep South. Of course, being from North Florida, perhaps I’m just being overly picky.

    However, on the casual moviegoer “movie” scale, Sam Peckinpah just got totally owned by a former movie critic. The remake follows the originally pretty closely, with the sole structural change being the relocation to Southern Mississippi (which works just fine, if Hollywood-ized, and makes the whole thing feel much closer to home than the original) However, there are two very big changes under the surface: a) this movie actually likes its characters. Sam once said that he saw Dustin Hoffman’s character as the villain… his weakness brought about the ultimate violence. Not so, here. Yes, James MArsden is the intruder, but his crime is that he tries to resolve things with his mouth and head… which by nature infuriates a certain breed of ignorant human being. Also, the relationship between him and his wife is worth saving, since the movie actually likes its characters. Even the villains are more interesting (Alexander Skarsgard has the role of a lifetime here), we understand them… but we’re still going to root against them. Which brings us to b) many people have complained that this movie lacks moral ambivalence. Damn right it does! That was Sam’s mistake. In the finale, who is in the right is pretty fricking obvious. In the original the audience wasn;t cheering. In the remake, I haven’t heard an audience cheer on the hero like this in a very long time. The hero doesn;t just defeat the villains, he demolishes them. And if you’re not cheering, go watch whatever chick flick came out this week.

    Finally, the movie is interesting as a political statement. Nice-guy intellectual besieged by ignorants stands up for his principles and demolishes them. President Obama, please watch this movie, and spend the next 14 months kicking the crap out of the Tea Party. That would be worth cheering for.

  • 10 9-19-2011 at 9:53 am

    Keith said...

    My best friend is a huge horror freak. She sees everything, good or bad. She thought it was pretty much a mess. She liked the first half or 2/3rds ok, but thought the final act didn’t work. Based on her recommendations, I’ll see what she likes. I don’t think I’ll be seeing this one. But I’d love to see the original.

  • 11 10-29-2015 at 10:12 am

    Agus said...

    Je n ai pas pris le temps de la regarder ce matin, c est menitanant chose faite, impressionnant le film est vraiment tre8s bon, e7a me plait vraiment ! Pour je me demande quand le remake sortira en France et s il sortira meame